I love the Bible. I believe the Bible is the word of the Creator of the Universe to humankind. Because I believe the Bible is the very words of God, I believe it is inspired and inerrant without contradiction.
I also believe the Bible is the greatest literary paradox known to man.
Why is the Bible the greatest literary paradox? Because it has the greatest author—God himself.
Here are a few paradoxes we find in the Bible:
- Three Persons in the One True God
- Christ’s two natures in one person
- Divine election and human responsibility
- Progressive sanctification—a work of God and us
- Repentance and faith—gifts of God yet exercised by us
- Already saved and not yet saved
- Invisible church and visible church
- Simultaneously sinners and saints
I don’t have the space to explain all these paradoxes, nor do I have the space to list many, many more.
The question I have is this: what should be your response to paradoxes found in the Scriptures? The answer is that your response should, likewise, be a paradox!
On one hand, we seek with all our hearts, minds, and wills to understand God as revealed in the Scriptures. We do not lose heart or grow weary in “being a workman that needs not to be ashamed” (2 Tim 2:15).
Yet, on the other hand, we humbly recognize that God’s ways are not our ways. We cannot know God perfectly, for then we would be God. Our hearts, minds, and wills can only go so far. So, we must embrace the paradox. And in so doing, we embrace the Author of the paradox. We bow in worship to God, because he is the one, the author of the Scriptures, who created so many paradoxes.
So, live the paradox! The paradoxes you have a difficult time with reconciling, keep trying! Do all within your power to know God. And humbly and worshipfully submit and bow to him when you can or can’t reconcile the paradox. Only then will the God of paradoxes be known and worshiped.